I read an article on LifeNews.com about an elderly woman who was euthanized because of macular degeneration. The case of this woman makes me wonder: when my generation grows old, will physicians prescribe death as a remedy for old age?
I have degenerative arthritis in my back. Like macular degeneration, this condition never improves. “My back is killing me” is a phrase I often use. I am worried about the evolution of the “death on demand” culture. Like “therapeutic abortion” to “cure” Down’s syndrome, will doctors recommend euthanasia as the best option? When I’m in my eighties with too many old people and not enough young ones, is my back really going to kill me?
My back pain is both physical and mental frustration but I want to live my life as long as God wants me here. I can’t dance and jump and move furniture around as I would like to. Sometimes I can barely move. It will get worse with age and yet I want to live because I’ve come to the realization that God created all of us for a reason. Most importantly, He prepared a glorious life after death for those who love Him on this earth. Life has its challenges but it is worth answering the call to love and serve and to prepare for the afterlife.
Our culture reduces life to “what I can do”. When the body can’t meet one’s expectations, why not discard it? The lady couldn’t use her eyes so she had her earthly life ended. But what about her soul? Usually people who commit suicide have a mental condition and are not responsible for their actions. When suicide is planned and paid for like a service, it is a different matter. Those that rationalize suicide and those who provide it are sending us a clear message: “ There is no point in suffering and aging and there is an easy way out. Never mind what happens next, there is nothing after death.”
Aren’t we both spiritual and physical beings? Don’t we thirst to understand suffering and our purpose on this earth? Our society doesn’t encourage these questions and the answers can only be found at the foot of the Cross. Not our crosses but the one that He already bore for us. Then we could embrace our lives fully.